Sight of Our Lady enchants young students
What scene could be so riveting to a group of children that they drop everything and clasp their hands in prayer?
It wasn’t the arrival of Harry Potter or Lady Gaga.
It was the sight of the Virgin Mary that had caught their attention.
Actually it was a statue of the Virgin, carried in an outdoor procession as part of the Legion of Mary’s centenary celebrations at St Jude’s church Holder.
What was so extraordinary about the scene was that the children were simply onlookers from the adjoining school grounds.
The simple act of spontaneous worship astonished Marie Lazaro, president of the Legion of Mary Curia (council) for Canberra/Goulburn.
She was part of the procession that saw the children looking on. She was even more astounded when the children rushed to the other side of the oval to follow the procession, again joining their hands in prayer.
“It was very, very touching,” she said.
The visit to St Jude’s was part of a two-week pilgrimage tour of some archdiocesan churches and parishes by the Legion which has a presence in about 170 countries.
The statue’s visit to Canberra/Goulburn was itself part of a wider tour of all the Legion’s chapters in its Sydney “Senatus”; an area that covers all of NSW and dioceses in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.
The success of the local pilgrimage tour was a cause for hope for Marie.
“Crowning ceremonies and outdoor processions have lost popularity in recent years,” Marie said.
“We were fortunate that the tour to our region took place during the Marian devotion month of May. Participants – not just the Legionaries – found the pilgrimage moving and memorable.”
Judging by the reception at St Jude’s, Marie no doubt would wonder what seeds have been planted in the minds of the young faithful that also might bear fruit.